Turkey: The Fethullah Gulen movement streghens

With the last arrests within the army of opponents of AKP’s not-very-well-hidden Islamism,  the power of the Fethullah Gulen movement, an Islamist, hard-line movement grows stronger, that, if wins, can destroy Ataturk legacy. And it looks it can actually win.

All shots against the military are now fair game, including those below the belt. The force behind this dramatic change is the Fethullah Gulen Movement (FGH), an ultraconservative political faction that backs the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). The FGH was founded in the 1970s by Fethullah Gulen, a charismatic preacher who now lives in the United States but remains popular in Turkey. It is a conservative movement aiming to reshape secular Turkey in its own image, by securing the supremacy of Gulen’s version of religion over politics, government, education, media, business, and public and personal life.

To some, it might appear that the newfound freedom to criticize the military proves that Turkey is becoming a more liberal democracy. But the truth is that Turkey has replaced one “untouchable” organization for another, more dangerous, one. Criticizing the Gulen movement, which controls the national police and its powerful domestic intelligence branch, and which exerts increasing influence in the judiciary, has become as taboo as assailing the military once was. Today, it is those who criticize the Gulen movement who get burned.

Of course, coup allegations are serious matters that warrant immediate action. However, these allegations are part of the Ergenekon case — a convoluted investigation that so far has produced nothing in the last three years but a record-setting 5,800-page indictment, hundreds of early-morning house raids, and the detention of many prominent Turks, including university presidents and prominent educators such as Kemal Guruz and Mehmet Haberal. The only quality that ties together all of those arrested is their opposition to the AKP government and the Gulen movement. Zekeriya Oz, the chief prosecutor leading the Ergenekon case, and Ramazan Akyurek, the head of the police’s domestic intelligence branch, as well as other powerful people in the police, are thought by some to be Gulen sympathizers.

Although some of the people interrogated and arrested might have been involved in criminal wrongdoing, most appear to be innocent. Take, for instance, Turkan Saylan, a 73-year-old grandmother who was undergoing chemotherapy. Saylan ran an NGO providing liberal arts education scholarships to poor girls in eastern Turkey, an area where Gulen’s network runs many competing organizations. She was interrogated by the Turkish police for allegedly plotting a coup from her death bed, and passed away only four weeks later.

Before: Why Erdogan shouldn’t be trusted when announcing more coups?

Related: Crisis in Turkey | Catholic Exchange. Demonstrators in support of arrests:


16 comments on “Turkey: The Fethullah Gulen movement streghens

  1. Turkey is the Trojan Horse to the EU, and they should never be allowed in.

    • American Delight says:

      Yes, Trojan horse, or perhaps the camel’s nose at the foot of the European tent…

      • Claudia says:

        😆 American Delight.

        Whatever the comparison, it’s worrying. For Spain, specially because Erdogan is a primary ally of Zapatero’s Alliance of Civilizations. 🙄

    • Claudia says:

      I agree. I was going to comment at your site but I can’t so, I am answering you here.

      The developments in Turkey are worrying: if the Fetullah Gulen movement is not stopped (sth that’s going to be difficult considering its lack of publicity about its true goals), I fear Turkey is going to be transformed into yet another Islamismt state.

      Also thanks for linking T&P.


      • ghostDancer says:

        More worried than about EU, i don’t think the french are going to leave them to enter so easy, it’s the trojan horse in the NATO, they’re already in, and are the NATO nearest country to Israel, so if we send them out we have another islamic republic (military strong) near Israel and with border with a lot of “interesting” countries , and if not we will have a islamic republic inside the NATO and we have to consent to the assasination of the kurds.

    • Belinda Ozcan says:

      After the arrests of Turkish Journalists do you really think Turkey has a spit of a chance of getting into the EU? Europe doesn’t want them, best not to go where you are not wanted.

  2. A says:

    You cannot even spell his name right. It is Fethullah Gulen. So that is exactly showing how bias are you? Without even trying to understand the movement, your mission is all about denigrate it. All the effort you guys are putting making people nothing but eager to learn about the movement.

    • Claudia says:

      Gee, if the only criticism you make is that I haven’t written the name well (I have written it as I saw it written… ), the post mus be good altogether.

      So, enlighten us about the movement, A. Do you have any links to recommend?

      By the way, your email is marked as spam. Are you a spammer on behalf of the movement, A?

  3. […] The Fethullah Gullah movement strenghens. var addthis_pub = ''; var addthis_language = 'en';var addthis_options = 'email, favorites, digg, delicious, myspace, google, facebook, reddit, live, more'; AKPC_IDS += "2812,";Popularity: unranked [?] Share and Enjoy: […]

  4. […] Considering the influence of the Fethullah Gulen movement in Turkish politics, this comes as no surprise. Turkey’s Islamic-based government fired the opening salvo in a […]

  5. […] Erdogan, Islamist agenda, politics, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey by Claudia Considering the influence of the Fethullah Gulen movement in Turkish politics, this comes as no surprise. Turkey’s Islamic-based government fired the opening salvo in a […]

  6. Claudia says:


    Error 403 – Forbidden

    You tried to access a document for which you don’t have privileges.

    Wow. Impressive. 😦

  7. Frank Moffet says:

    Fethullah Gulen is a fraud, with a 5th grade education. Good “Sibel Edmonds Gulen”
    Sibel is the Ex-FBI Turkish Translator turned whistleblower that knows more about Gulen than he knows about himself. Today the Gulen Movement operates 150 Charter schools in the USA swindling American taxpayers out of more than $1 billion.
    The schools do NOT perform well and are racketeering the money with their layers of Gulen foundations over the schools. Gulen wants to control and manipulate: interfaith dialog, education, military, media and police. Do your research on Gulen and answer these questions:
    1) Why was Gulen exiled out of his native Turkey?
    2) What is Gulen’s grand ambition statement?
    3) Why are the schools allowed to bring in uncredentialed teachers from Turkey at a time when American teachers are getting pink slips?


    • Claudia says:

      Thanks for the infomration, Frank. Yes, that part about being exiled out of Turkey has always intrigued me.
      But the other questions you’re asking are even more worrying.
      I didn’t know those websites and I will be reading them.

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